No longer was it necessary to use the handle of the sauce pan to blow smoke through, as A. I. Root had done. No longer was there danger of burning a hive of Italian bees, as Root had done as he went about the apiary with a chunk of burning rotten wood until the sparks caught by blowing in the sawdust.

T. F. Bingham improved the smoker to the point of making it really practical.

T. F. Bingham improved the smoker to the point of making it really practical.

Quinby made his invention near the end of his life and made no attempt to secure a patent. Although he had spent much time in a study of the problem before meeting with success, he had little opportunity to make improvements, since his death came so soon.

Clark's cold blast smoker first offered in 1879 sold well for many years.

Clark's cold blast smoker first offered in 1879 sold well for many years.

T. F. Bingham at once took up the idea and carried it forward. He soon took out a patent and continued the manufacture of smokers for many years. He began advertising in 1877 in the bee magazines, pricing his bellows smokers at $2 each. At that time the smoker in common use was known as the Doolittle Smoker, which sold for twenty-five cents. It was simply the tin tube already described, with a specially shaped plug at one end which fitted the mouth and made it easy to blow the smoke out. In Gleanings for July, 1877, a detailed instruction was given for making a Doolittle smoker. Bingham already had produced another modification of the smoker then in common use. To the tin container he had attached a small flexible tube, one end of which was held in the mouth, with the other entering the tin tube to provide the blast. He claimed that this was an advance over the tubes in use, but it had the same weakness as the others in that one must blow to get results, and when he stopped the fire died out.

Bingham smoker in the early days of its popularity sold for two dollars.

Bingham smoker in the early days of its popularity sold for two dollars.

Perhaps Bingham is entitled to the credit of improving the Quinby smoker to the point of making it really practical, although A. I. Root also worked along similar lines. It is difficult to determine just how much either alone contributed to the development of the implement.

Bingham's smoker as improved by his successor, A. G. Woodman.

Bingham's smoker as improved by his successor, A. G. Woodman.

Root placed the end of the metal fire pot against the bellows so that it pointed upward when the smoker was set aside. The hole offered a direct draft from the bellows through the fire. He gave a full description of it in Gleanings for February, 1879. In the same magazine appears a letter from John G. Corey, of California, who said:

"All smokers made on the principle of blowing a blast of air through the chamber containing the fuel are defective for this reason. The fuel is made to burn up rapidly, and, worst of all, the smoke is hot, and who has not noticed how hot smoke irritates bees instead of quieting them? " Corey's smoker is figured along with a diagram of Root's and the two compared. It was much like Root's, but had an inner cone to permit blowing the smoke from in front of the fire. Root was quick to see the advantage of the suggestion and apparently adapted it to use at once.

Numerous smokers were now offered for sale with some modifications of the original Quinby idea. Clark's cold blast smoker, first in Gleanings,

March, 1879, became well known and was offered by the supply-trade for many years. It is the one the author first remembers. Now after more than fifty years of refinements and improvement the smoker is not substantially different from Quinby's original invention. Those now in use are larger, and so hold fire longer; they are stronger, and serve for a longer time; they have more draft and thus permit a greater volume of smoke; and they do not go out so easily through liability to being turned over when not in use.

At different times several other similar instruments have been known in the supply trade under the name of the manufacturer. Thus there was at one time a Muth smoker, a King smoker, etc. It is doubtful whether any of these others made any contribution of permanent value to the development of the instrument. To Quinby must be given the major credit for the combination of bellows with fire pot in the invention of the smoker, and the others have added only such refinements as naturally suggested themselves when the instrument was put to common use.